Gym Jerks, Men I need your help.

  • Being a female, sometimes I feel totally intimidated when I go over to the "big boys" section and lift weights.  Now that I am doing the challenge, I have gotten over that and I go do my workouts.  However, I am running across some rather rude gym goers. 

    Our gym is pretty small, so it gets easily crowded.  There are not multiplemachines for the same body part, so you do have to wait a lot.  But my issue is with the guys who are working out on one machine, have their towel draped on another and then go off and chat with their work out buddies on yet another machine.  2 guys can literally take up 6 machines, and 5 of those 6, they aren't using.

    This morning was the final straw.  A man sat on the leg extension machine for 10 minutes talking on his cell phone.  He didn't do one extension the whole time.  About 5 minutes in I politely got his attention and asked if I could use the machine if he was done and he told me to "hold on".  5 more minutes went by and he got off the machine without using it once.  I was so mad.  I had my workout all planned and was ready to hit some weights, but I had to sit their and wait for 10 minutes for a guy to get off the machine he wasn't even using. 

    What do you do about rude people at the gym?  If they are using a machine to hang their towel do you ask them to move it?  What about people chatting on machines and not using them to work out?  And how do I handle letting someone share a machine and they take about 5 minutes to do what they are doing on it while I am in the middle of a set?  I would like to know what is the proper etiquette of handling these situations and how can I happily co-exist with my male gym buddies.  :D



  • that point etiquette goes out the - you've asked politely and done everything you can.  I'm not kidding though.  You pay your membership, you have every right to be use whatever the facilities offer.

    At this point, I'm walking over to the machine, moving whatever crap they've left on it and doing my sets and I will stay seated on the machine until I am done or until they approach me and we can work out some sort of set sharing method.

    You are at the gym for the reasons you should be.

  • Rebekah I would disregard the guy and the machine and go grab a couple of dumbbells and do some squats instead of waiting for him.  

    Here is a link to an exercise site that shows you all sorts of different exercises to do if you find yourself in the situation.

    For me this morning I wanted to do cable crossovers, a guy was watching TV I said are you finished here?  He said no.  I hit the Pec Dec Machine.  2 sets in for me and the guy never did another lift, got his jacket and left.   The more exercise variety you know, the eaiser it will be to change on the fly.  And avoid that frustration to boot.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • I would also suggest mentioning this problem to the folks running the gym.  That sound really out of control for that many people to hold up equipment.  Continue to do your workouts and ask.  Sooner or later they will get to know you and see you mean business and perhaps move.  My gym has rules and most people follow them or are at least polite enough to move when I let them know I need to use the equipment.  If they cut in on me, they do a quick whatever so I can continue my workout.

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • I agree with Armster. I think the trick here is to totally build up your biceps... very very large. This way, when you see a man being totally rude, walk over to him, flex you're Kick-ass muscles, glare, and tell him to leave. Then step aside, giving him plenty of room to scramble as quick as he can, for his towel and car keys!

    Stacy Lynn

  • LOL Stacy.

  • Wait til the end of your 12 weeks when you're super ripped and strong, go back, find him and beat him senseless. Sounds like it shouldn't take long.

    But in seriousness, I agree with Champster. Learn multiple exersices you can do for each body part, then when you come across losers like this at the gym, you can just do a different exercise that time. Also never hurts to change up the routine occasionally too.

    I still like the option of beating him senseless better though. ;)

  • It's funny, because I can talk about gym "rats" all day.  

    We are somewhat of an elitist club in terms of  what our goals are;  when we go to the gym we know exactly what we are going there for.  it isn't to be social, it isn't to show off, we are there for one reason.  Watching the socialites in the gym always gives me a real chuckle.


    So, nothing that senseless should get in the way of you achieving your goals.  In essence, own your time in the gym.

  • I would speak to the manager on duty and explain the situation logically, clearly and with seriousness.

    I am pretty sure they will work to resolve it for you. Don't be emotional. Be as level-headed as any "man" would be, if you know what I mean.

    I am quite sure there are 'rules' about this sort of thing and if not, your speaking up could very easily prompt the management to create them.

  • All of these suggestions are good ones.  It's not just women who are adversely affected by gym jerks, as I've had to deal with it, too.  The guys usually aren't malicious: they're just clueless and self-centered.

    Here's what I recommend you do, in order of preference (and as Confidence says, KEEP IT COOL!):

    1.  Smile and ask "Hey, may I jump in here, too?"  You'd be surprised how many people don't mind if you jump in while they're in between sets.  Even if they're just sitting there, and sometimes, that makes them snap out of it and begin their own exercise.  If they say they'd rather not have you jump in while they're in between sets, then move on to Step 2.

    2.  Rather than let the *** delay you any further, move to an alternative exercise.  For example, if you're looking to do leg extensions but Cell Phone Guy is yapping while parking his ample posterior on it, do dumbbell squats or leg press instead.  Just be sure to log your exercise and weights in your workout log.

    3.  In between sets, go find a gym worker or manager and inform them of the situation.  "Look, I'm not trying to start trouble or be difficult, and I don't want to come across as a tattle-tale.  But that guy is hogging a machine and isn't using it, and it's disrupting the workouts of me AND EVERYONE ELSE."  Don't make it all about you, and the staff will likely be quite receptive to it.

    If all else fails and the staff ignores your request, then at the conclusion of your alternate workout, speak to the manager on duty, at length.  Tell him/her CALMLY BUT FIRMLY that you don't appreciate having your concerns dismissed, and you are not above taking your money to a facility that better appreciates the customer.  If you threaten that, though, be prepared to actually do it, otherwise they'll become conditioned to empty threats.  They don't want to lose paying customers, especially in this economy.

    I work out at my local YMCA, and the staff there does a great job at keeping people from lollygagging if others want to use a machine/rack.  I bet with a little prodding, your facility will respond favorably.

  • What a graceful reply, Michelle. I appreciate your example - I tend to lack that kind of diplomacy. I'm a teacher, so I'm used to dealing with adults (parents of my high school students) who try to bully me.

    I would definitely mention it to the gym owners or managers, first of all. That would be my best route as far as actually getting the problem solved.

    I probably shouldn't even offer what it would be in my nature to do or say... Michelle's answer is much better!  LOL! Suffice it to say I would definitely have a talk with the guys before I would let them bully me around! Cell phone or no!

    "The limits you are living with right now, in every aspect of your existence, have been created by your mind. They are perceptions. And they are holding you back. You are capable of far more than you think you are." -Bill Phillips

  • LOL!!!

  • Mikek-

    Maybe I'll just go flex some muscles and scare the pee outta him!!!

  • Thanks everyone.  Believe it or not when I talked to the staff about it they gave me the "i know, we've talked to them, nothing we can do about it speech".  So I am resolved to have a talk with these guys on Friday.  I think just a "hey, lets all be gym chums together and we can get through this.  These are my goals and this is what I am doing.  I think we can work around each other and with each other."  You never know, kill 'em with kindness.  If that doesn't work, well, maybe i'll go buy some donuts and leave them at the sign in counter to slow them boys down.

    Thanks for all your responses!  It is nice to blow off a little steam to people who KNOW what I am talking about.  

  • I have a thought :-D

    Go up to each one of them separately and tell them how much you admire their physique. You must have been lifting for a while. I'm new to this. Do you think you could give me a few pointers? I complete respect your commitment and lifting. Can you help me find an exercise for my quads? I have run out of ideas. I want to make sure I get my advice from someone who really knows what they are doing. You definitely have your stuff together. :-)

    Make it all about them. That's what they want anyways. They will bow down to you after that. They have to have groupies. :-D

    Keep the faith!

    Faithful Renee :0)